A Tour of Ploegsteert Wood Extra – Maple Leaf Cemetery

A mile and a half to the west of Ploegsteert Village lies the rarely visited Maple Leaf Cemetery.

No, leave them Baldrick.  They’re not yours and we’ve got plenty when we get home.

Maple Leaf Cemetery is a battlefield cemetery, begun in December 1914 and used sporadically until the following summer, when the Canadians sited an Advanced Dressing Station nearby and began, sadly, to use the cemetery on more frequent occasions.  Surprisingly perhaps, all 167 of the British troops buried here are identified.

The work of the CWGC never ceases.

Cemetery entrance.  Nice cone.


Repointing required, methinks.

Although the final British burial took place in December 1917, the Germans used the cemetery to bury nine of their dead in April 1918.

The cemetery plan, by kind permission of the CWGC, can be found here: Maple Leaf Cemetery Plan


Two views from the south east corner looking west (above left), and north (above right).


Two views of the southern half of the cemetery, Row F nearest the camera.

Looking west, with Row G on the left.  Note the lone German headstone at the far end of Row H which marks the burial place of three German soldiers, two of whom are unidentified.

Rows L, M & N at the northern end of the cemetery.

North easterly view across Rows K (right), L, M & N.

The grave of Private Albert Parry, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), executed for desertion on 30th August 1917.

Back near the cemetery entrance, the headstone on the left is that of:


Cross of Sacrifice.

‘In Perpetuity’ plaque.

If you do visit any of the cemeteries on our tour* in person, don’t forget to sign the Visitor’s Book.  Most, although not all, CWGC cemeteries have one, and, whilst it’s always interesting to see where visitors have come from to pay their respects, it also helps the CWGC gather statistical information for what I am sure are really useful purposes.

*assuming you arrived here following our visit to Ploegsteert Village.  If you didn’t, make sure you sign the Visitor’s Book anyway.

Maple Leaf Cemetery.

A final look back at the signpost to the cemetery, or if you prefer, the crates of beer, before it’s time to move on.

As we head back towards Ploegsteert Village, Mont Kemmel (left), the Bois de la Hutte (centre) and Ploegsteert Wood (right) are all clearly visible on the northern horizon.

Panoramic view looking north and west, Mont Kemmel on the far left horizon, the road to Ploegsteert Village on the far right.  To the left of the farm buildings…

…if you look really carefully…

…this British (I presume) bunker can be clearly seen across the cornfields.

Private Parry, by the way, whose grave we visited earlier, was executed for desertion on August 30th 1917.  For whatever reason, his headstone bears no family inscription.

As for us, we shall return to Ploegsteert Village and continue east, along the southern edge of Ploegsteert Wood, until we arrive at our next stop, Lancashire Cottage Cemetery

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